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100 best 'SNL' episodes

  • #10. Season 44, Episode 19 - Adam Sandler/Shawn Mendes

    - IMDb user rating: 8.4
    - Votes: 336
    - Air date: May 4, 2019

    Former regular Adam Sandler kicked off the show with a song titled, “I Was fired,” in response to his daughter wondering why he left the show if it was the “time of his life.” Later, he plays Joe Romano of “Romano Tours,” a quirky guide whose family has for generations provided tours of Italy to people from all over the world—"but mostly Long Island and Jersey.”

  • #9. Season 36, Episode 22 - Justin Timberlake/Lady Gaga

    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Votes: 256
    - Air date: May 21, 2011

    Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, and Andy Samberg teamed up to perform a new Lonely Island song "3-way," in which Patricia Clarkson and Susan Sarandon also appeared. The bawdy number further solidified Timberlake's status as an "SNL" golden boy.

  • #8. Season 37, Episode 10 - Jimmy Fallon/Michael Bublé

    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Votes: 261
    - Air date: Dec. 17, 2011

    Jimmy Fallon's first time hosting "SNL" since his departure as a cast member brought back some major nostalgia as well as guest stars. The list of surprise appearances included Chris Kattan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Jude Law.

  • #7. Season 3, Episode 18 - Steve Martin/The Blues Brothers

    - IMDb user rating: 8.6
    - Votes: 110
    - Air date: April 22, 1978

    In this episode, the iconic duo of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi made their debut as "The Blues Brothers." The pop culture impact of the act truly can't be overstated, and this is where it all began, making it an instant “SNL” classic.

  • #6. Season 1, Episode 7 - Richard Pryor/Gil Scott-Heron

    - IMDb user rating: 8.6
    - Votes: 199
    - Air date: Dec. 13, 1975

    Richard Pryor appeared on “SNL” only once, but his appearance left a lasting impression. Alongside Chevy Chase, he participated in a sketch called "Word Association," in which the two men traded racial slurs that would never make their way onto TV today; the skit remains one of the most shocking and daring stunts the show has ever pulled.

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  • #5. Season 32, Episode 9 - Justin Timberlake

    - IMDb user rating: 8.6
    - Votes: 244
    - Air date: Dec. 16, 2006

    Why is this episode so revered? Because it was part of the show's revitalization that made it relevant in pop culture again, and it's all thanks to the Lonely Island song "D*ck in a Box."

  • #4. Season 38, Episode 16 - Justin Timberlake

    - IMDb user rating: 8.6
    - Votes: 303
    - Air date: March 9, 2013

    This episode marked host and musical guest Justin Timberlake's inauguration into the Five-Timers Club. Timberlake was welcomed in a skit with several other club members, including Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Candice Bergen, and Paul Simon (who has actually not hosted five times, but four). Dan Aykroyd made an appearance as the bartender at the club, with Martin Short playing the waiter, once again. 

  • #3. Season 35, Episode 21 - Betty White/Jay-Z

    - IMDb user rating: 8.8
    - Votes: 376
    - Air date: May 8, 2010

    An internet campaign landed the incredible Betty White a gig hosting “SNL,” and she made the most of every minute. More than that, the episode became an ode to the show's indelible female cast members, past and present, as they one-by-one joined White celebrating her milestone.

  • #2. Season 39, Episode 10 - Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake

    - IMDb user rating: 8.8
    - Votes: 455
    - Air date: Dec. 21, 2013

    Taking second on the list is Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's bromance-fueled episode. These two have a friendship that translates beautifully to the screen, as they reveal in their pitch-perfect "The Barry Gibb Talk Show" sketch.

  • #1. Season 45, Episode 10 - Eddie Murphy/Lizzo

    - IMDb user rating: 8.9
    - Votes: 432
    - Air date: Dec. 21, 2019

    Earning top honors is the year-end 2019 episode hosted by the legendary Eddie Murphy, whose return brought out the likes of Larry David as Bernie Sanders, Rachel Dratch as Amy Klobuchar, and Fred Armisen as Michael Bloomberg—and that was just the cold open. In “Cut for Time: A Holiday Gig,” bandmates Murphy, Kenan Thompson, and Kyle Mooney cannot stop arguing and interrupting their own show. The cherry on top for the #1 episode: Lizzo performing “Truth Hurts” live from Studio 8H.

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